The University of Rhode Island’s Main Gallery is hosting an exhibition that celebrates and explores the representation of black superheroes in the mainstream comic industry and American pop culture. With large format prints straight from the pages and covers of comics, the space has been transformed into a world of color and action leaping off the walls. I intend on exploring this further, but I thought I’d share the schedule of events in a timely manner as much of the programming is this week.
Schedule of Events:
Jan. 21 Show Opens to the Public 12 p.m. Fine Arts Center Main Gallery
Feb. 4 *NEW DATE! Opening Reception for Campus Community 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., prior to lecture by Dr. Sheena Howard Fine Arts Center Main Gallery
Feb. 11 *NEW DATE! Reception for General Public 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., prior to Octavia Butler performance of The Parables Fine Arts Center Main Gallery
Feb. 4 Keynote Address by Dr. Sheena Howard “The Academic Implications of Black Heroism” 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Swan Hall Auditorium
Dr. Howard is the URI Gender and Women Studies Carlson Lecturer for 2015. Dr. Howard is the editor of the collection titled Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, which won the 2014 Will Eisner Award for Best Scholarly/Academic Work.
Feb. 5 Open GWS Class with Dr. Sheena Howard. “Race, Gender, and The Comics: Why Are Race and Gender in the Same Sentence?” 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CBLS 010
This talk and Q & A will focus on two main questions: How do issues of race and gender enter into comics, especially in ways we might not realize; and how do issues of race and gender connect with each other?
Feb. 9 Zap! Boom! Pow! The History and Technique of Comic Book Making 3:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Fine Arts Center Room A 101
Presentation and workshop by Illustrator/Graphic Designer, Ian Wells and Small Press Comics Creator/Retailer, Wayne Quackenbush. The comic book is a dynamic storytelling medium that combines words and pictures in sequential arrangements. Beginning with a historical overview focused on its evolution as an industry and art form, participants will also explore the process of creating a visual narrative from thumbnails to the finished page with hands-on demonstrations.
Feb. 11 Literary Heroism in Black Femininity: A Dramatic Reading of Octavia Butler’s The Parables. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Swan Hall Auditorium
It’s after the end of the world. Drug-crazed arsonists terrorize at will, wild dogs battle people for food and the only thing more precious than water is perhaps your weapon. Amid the chaos, a young woman sets out toward a fabled haven to the north. She is black, alone and hiding a secret. If she can survive her hellish world, she just may be its salvation. Octavia Butler’s dual masterpiece, Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, introduces a unique black super hero, a reluctant prophet whose coming of age becomes a movement. A public reading adapted and directed by RISCA Artist Fellow Ifa Bayeza.
Feb. 12 College Norms by Dr. Norman Barber: A Graphic Exploration of the Black Student Experience on a Predominantly White Campus 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Fine Arts Center Main Gallery
For many African American students, adjusting to the cultural realities of a predominantly white college environment is no laughing matter, however, this session will explore how comic strips can use humor and insightful illustrations to explore their adjustment experiences, many of whom are constantly searching for a real campus hero – someone who looks like them, with whom they can identify, and with whom they can call their own. Dr. Barber is an adjunct professor in Africana Studies at URI, and also an adjunct instructor in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.